Intrusive Bike Share
To the Editor:
Down in Community Board 2, the Department of Transportation (DOT) proposed a bike share station in Father Fagan Square, a half-acre park that commemorates four local heroes who died attempting to save others trapped in burning buildings.
Responding to requests from the Community Board and local civic groups, as well as the current pastor of St. Anthony’s, Father Fagan’s church, the DOT has now agreed to move the intrusive station out of the memorial park.
We should all applaud Community Board 2 for its unwavering support of its neighborhood’s effort to prevent the disruption of a cherished neighborhood space.
We should all commend the DOT for joining them.
And we should all expect this to serve as an example for another cherished quiet refuge, Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, named in memory of another heroic public servant, the secretary general of the United Nations, who was killed in a plane crash in 1961 on his way to a peace mission to the Congo.
—Carol Ann Rinzler
To the Editor:
Something was noticeably absent in the letter by H.B. Willis in response to “Going the Way of Horse and Buggy” (June 28): a disclosure. The writer is from Louisiana, not New York City. His motivation is to protect his own business interests, which are more than 1,000 miles from Manhattan and worlds apart in some ways.
Willis assures that horses cannot be “disposed of in an inhumane manner” based on New York City ordinances. From his vantage point, it’s cut-and-dried. But there is nothing in current New York City law to prevent carriage horses from going to auctions frequented by kill buyers. The tiny New York City carriage trade is well aware of a loophole that excuses sellers from any accountability in providing the city with documentation of sales occurring outside of New York City.
Gotham is the topic at hand, not Louisiana. New York City has certain conditions—namely, traffic—that cannot be altered in a way that would make the operation of horse-drawn carriages humane or safe. Horse-drawn carriages in traffic endanger both the horses and public safety. A year ago, we saw serious accidents involving both of these types of risks, both within a 10-day period. In one, a terrified carriage horse bolted and crashed into a parked car; in another, a taxicab crashed into a carriage, seriously injuring three tourists from Ohio and inflicting a head injury that nearly killed the carriage driver.
Carriages are flimsy and offer no protection during a crash. Given that there is no mechanism or requirement for reporting accidents to the city agencies that share industry oversight, some accidents go unreported. How many? Tourists have a right to know just how dangerous these rides really are.
—Mary V. Culpepper
Coalition To Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages (NYC)
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